Good morning. I hope everyone has not lost their minds yet. If you have, you have my deepest sympathy.
Enough of virus talk though.
I printed out Lily (PAUSE. Ok, so Monday morning I printed out Lily. It was 8:00 am, a lovely morning. I was in a good, benevolent mood *narrator: but it didn’t last for long*. Printing is fairly simple, right? You press the button, the printer prints. Simple. NOT SO FAST. Lily is 300 pages and around every other page the printer “jammed” or “misprinted”. What should have taken minutes took THREE HOURS. THREE HOURS I TELL YOU. I WAS FILLED WITH MURDEROUS FRUSTRATION.)
Now that that’s off my chest: I printed out Lily and have started line editing, furiously crossing out things with my purple gel pen (I hate the color purple but for some reason really like this pen???) and scribbling new and better sentences (at least that’s what we hope).
Some things I learned from line editing that I’ve learned before and probably talked about before but I’ll say them again in case you missed them the first and second and third time:
- You don’t need the word “could” as much as you think you do. Example: he could see it. If he saw it he could see it don’t you think???
- If the sentence is dumb or a line of dialogue isn’t working just – just get rid of it already.
- You probably have – probably have too – too many em dashes.
- You don’t need to describe every single movement that your character is doing. This “He uncrossed his legs and stood up from the couch and walked over to the table” can be “He walked over to the table”. I mean if he walked over to the table we have a fairly good idea that he must have stood up from the couch and probably uncrossed his legs as well.
- In general, evocative description is more important than stage direction (also, not going to lie but when I read things (actions, settings) that are explained in fast detail like left, right, forty feet high, etc. I find it confusing, heck I still can’t figure out what the Griever hole looks like in the Maze Runner.)
- If you find a plot hole, you have two choices: fill the plot hole, or get rid of the whole road so there’s no plot hole to fill.
It is now snowing outside, though yesterday it was 70 degrees out. Welcome to the Midwest where the weather has an identity crisis every week.
How is everyone’s week been? How are the writing projects coming along? Do anything fun to retain sanity in quarantine??